Cleaning Up The TBR #3

ack in November last year, I did my first “Cleaning Up the TBR” post, something I first saw over on Fictionophile, who had seen it on Lost in a Story, and thought it was a really good idea. I know I’m not the only one who thought the same as I was seeing it everywhere so I am glad to jump on the bandwagon. Hopefully no one will mind 🙂

The idea is you take your Goodreads TBR list, sort by ascending date added, and look at the oldest five to ten items on your list. If you haven’t read them by now, are you likely to? Why or why not? If you want to keep them, make the case. This is my third visit to the list so far, with the last one in January.  Here’s what’s next on the list…

Mariana.jpgFirst up is Marina by Carlos Ruiz Zafon, which I picked because I loved The Shadow of the Wind.  Here’s what it’s about…

In May 1980, fifteen-year-old Oscar Drai suddenly vanishes from his boarding school in the old quarter of Barcelona. For seven days and nights no one knows his whereabouts. . . .

His story begins in the heart of old Barcelona, when he meets Marina and her father Germán Blau, a portrait painter. Marina takes Oscar to a cemetery to watch a macabre ritual that occurs on the fourth Sunday of each month. At 10 a.m. precisely a coach pulled by black horses appears. From it descends a woman dressed in black, her face shrouded, wearing gloves, holding a single rose. She walks over to a gravestone that bears no name, only the mysterious emblem of a black butterfly with open wings.

When Oscar and Marina decide to follow her they begin a journey that will take them to the heights of a forgotten, post-war Barcelona, a world of aristocrats and actresses, inventors and tycoons; and a dark secret that lies waiting in the mysterious labyrinth beneath the city streets.

Does it stay or does it go: Given how much I loved the first book, it stays.

Brave New WorldBrave New World by Aldous Huxley is one of those books I feel I should read.  I have actually loaned it out of the library I don’t know how many times, then returned it unopened.  Here’s what it’s about…

Far in the future, the World Controllers have created the ideal society. Through clever use of genetic engineering, brainwashing and recreational sex and drugs, all its members are happy consumers. Bernard Marx seems alone harbouring an ill-defined longing to break free. A visit to one of the few remaining Savage Reservations, where the old, imperfect life still continues, may be the cure for his distress…

Does it stay or does it go: It stays because I still think it’s a book I should read and it gets good reviews so I am probably missing out on something.

21981650.jpgNext up is The Original Folk and Fairy Tales of the Brothers Grimm, which I actually own and bought because I love fairy tales and thought reading the originals would be a good idea.  Here’s the goodreads summary…

When Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm published their “Children’s and Household Tales” in 1812, followed by a second volume in 1815, they had no idea that such stories as “Rapunzel,” “Hansel and Gretel,” and “Cinderella” would become the most celebrated in the world. Yet few people today are familiar with the majority of tales from the two early volumes, since in the next four decades the Grimms would publish six other editions, each extensively revised in content and style. For the very first time, ” The Original Folk and Fairy Tales of the Brothers Grimm” makes available in English all 156 stories from the 1812 and 1815 editions. These narrative gems, newly translated and brought together in one beautiful book, are accompanied by sumptuous new illustrations from award-winning artist Andrea Dezso.

From “The Frog King” to “The Golden Key,” wondrous worlds unfold–heroes and heroines are rewarded, weaker animals triumph over the strong, and simple bumpkins prove themselves not so simple after all. Esteemed fairy tale scholar Jack Zipes offers accessible translations that retain the spare description and engaging storytelling style of the originals. Indeed, this is what makes the tales from the 1812 and 1815 editions unique–they reflect diverse voices, rooted in oral traditions, that are absent from the Grimms’ later, more embellished collections of tales. Zipes’s introduction gives important historical context, and the book includes the Grimms’ prefaces and notes.

Does it stay or does it go: It stays a) because I own it and b) because I can dip in and out when the mood strikes.

23890184 This next book is another I’ve forgotten even adding, Redemption Road by Lisa Ballantyne.  It does sound like my type of book.  Here’s what it’s about…

The crash is the unravelling of Margaret Holloway. Trapped inside a car about to explode, she is rescued by a scarred stranger who then disappears. Margaret remembers little, but she’s spent her life remembering little – her childhood is full of holes and forgotten memories. And now she has a burning desire to discover who she is, why her life has been shrouded in secrets, and if it has anything to do with the mysterious man who saved her life.

In a thriller that flits effortlessly between past and present, this is a harsh, gritty yet ultimately uplifting journey of an estranged father and daughter, exploring the strength of family ties and our huge capacity for forgiveness.

Does it stay or does it go: It goes because I have so many of these books already sitting on the Kindle unread I don’t need to be adding another one.

7788360Finally, it’s Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver, which I think I added after reading and enjoying Rooms.  Here’s what it’s about…

They say ‘live every day as if it’s your last’—but you never actually think it’s going to be. At least I didn’t.

The thing is, you don’t get to know when it happens. You don’t remember to tell your family that you love them or—in my case—remember to say goodbye to them at all.

But what if, like me, you could live your last day over and over again? Could you make it perfect? If your whole life flashed before your eyes, would you have no regrets? Or are there some things you’d want to change…?

Does it stay or does it go: I still like the sound of it I have to admit so it has to stay.

Which means this culling of the TBR has been pretty rubbish.  One book gone, which doesn’t make up for half the books I’ve added on this week alone – Argghhh!

What do you think of my choices?  Have I made the right ones?

Emma x



  1. Let me know if you like Marina, I also loved The Shadow of the Wind, i read it on one day when I was ill one Christmas (before I had kids!) We have the same original Brothers Grimm book, I read them to Tess she loves them, being a gruesome child 🙂


  2. First of all, thanks for the mention. This TBR cleaning lark is harder than it looks. If you put a book on it, you probably had good reasons at the time. I’ve thought of a new method. Go through your list and reorder them. Choose the books as if you’re seeing it for the time . Put all the ones you really want to read at the top of the list, and the ones you don’t remember much about at the bottom. If, after a year has passed and you haven’t moved any of the bottom ones… remove them. I’ll be writing a post about this soon. Good luck. 😘


  3. Hmm… I’d be tougher! 😉 The only one I’d keep is Brave New World, though whether I’d still rate it now I don’t know – I read it when I was about 13. But it’s one of those books that gets referred to often, so worth reading for that reason…


  4. At the end of the day – if you want to keep a book after carefully considering it, then I think that’s fair enough. It’s when books stack up without regarding what we are acquiring and why that we need to have a rethink… I have now finished the read we did together. You may have tried to get in touch – I got very swamped last week. Apologies if so. Shall we discuss the book and then write a post each on how we found it after our chat?


    • I was tougher the last two times so guess I shouldn’t feel too bad. Yes am finished with Willnot. Just sent you a message on Twitter – was swamped too but hoping for time over Easter as not working so a good time to discuss. So want to know what you thoux


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